Recovering From Disasters

During times of natural disaster, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers educational resources to reduce the personal impact of natural disasters, working in partnership with the local, state and federal agencies addressing the disaster.  This page is updated with research-based educational resources for specific types of disaster (flooding, drought, storm, etc.) when events occur.

The best time to plan for a disaster is before an event occurs

flooded farm land

Dealing with Flooding

Recent heavy rains are causing repeated flooding of some areas of Iowa. These resources answer questions about health and safety and give guidance to clean up.


  • Iowa Concern Hotline: 800-447-1985
    Help and referrals for dealing with stress, crisis and loss in times of disaster.
  • Teenline — (800)443-8336 Available all hours, all days. Personal and health-related information and referral.



Clean up after flooding

  • Storm Recovery Guide — information on safety and household cleanup after tornadoes, floods and other disasters. This guide was created by LSU AgCenter and edited by Iowa State University Extension experts for use in Iowa.
  • Resources for Your Flooded Home — information to help you get your life back to normal after a flood. The guide was compiled by University of Missouri Extension
  • First Steps to Flood Recovery — provided by the Extension Disaster Education Network
  • U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans - SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and most private nonprofit organizations. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
  • Making Choices About Cleaning Wet Carpet – Disaster Recovery Series (Iowa State University Extension)
  • Inspect Flood-Damaged Appliances – Disaster Recovery Series (Iowa State University Extension)
  • Molds

    • A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home — provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth; from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Resolving Mold Problems — (10/2010 webinar) presented by Kenneth Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension
  • Questions? Call AnswerLine at 800-262-3804 or email
  • Hiring Contractors After a Disaster — outlines what to look for in a reliable contractor and offers a worksheet for selecting and hiring contractors
  • Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes — tells how to clean up after flooding, but does not describe how to rebuild. By Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and the National Center for Healthy Housing, this guide is meant for do-it-yourselfers and contractors who need to clean up mold in flooded homes before starting to rebuild or renovate
  • Repairing Your Flooded Home — gives step-by-step advice for clean up, rebuilding and getting help after a flood; by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Assessing, Repairing and Rebuilding Basements — a series of ISU Extension publications available to download in PDF format
  • Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems — discusses problems caused by microbial growth, as well as other potential effects of flooding, on long-term indoor air quality and the steps you can take to lessen these effects with emphasis on residential flood cleanup
  • Recovery for Home Landscaping — (09/2011) outlines what to consider when beginning the process of recovering trees, shrubs, perennials, lawns and vegetable gardens